How to visit Disneyland Resort without a car

img_disneyland_express-lrgHey magical ones!

This week, I’m heading to D23 and Disneyland for a week of Disney magical bliss! Since I used to be a Disneyland cast member, navigating the parks as well as the reality of how much travel time it takes to get everywhere, I wanted to focus this week on blogs revolving around my planning process for the trip. I’m flying in from New York, staying in 3 different hotels, attending the Anaheim Convention Center for D23, going to Disneyland to vlog, AND flying my mom in to celebrate at Disneyland for her 60th birthday. Sounds like a lot right? Here are my tricks for planning the trip. Today, let’s talk transportation!

I’m a Cali native who currently lives in New York. In other words, I no longer have a car. The idea of visiting California without a rental car is daunting, but if you’re sticking with the Disneyland Resort area rather than venturing off to L.A. County, going without a car is easier than you would think.

Airport to Resort travel:

So you flew in safely, but it’s California so everything is spread out and how are you ever going to get to the Resort??? Not to fear. There are a ton of different options if you’re going car-free. While yes, you could get a cab (from LAX you’ll spend a pretty penny, and sit in lots of traffic) or take a van shuttle service (they only hold a handful of people and can’t leave airport until the van is full), I recently discovered the magic that is the Disneyland Resort Express Bus.

 

 

Disneyland Resort Express Bus

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Why I’m taking it:

*The idea of sitting in a crowded shuttle van sounds terrible. I made that mistake on my last trip to WDW and I can’t do it again.

*Shuttle vans are approx. $40, while Disney Express bus is only $30 from LAX and $20 from SNA.

*Express bus has a toilet!

*The express bus runs on an hourly schedule so if your flight gets delayed you can still make the next bus.

*My mom is flying in from SNA and I’m flying into LAX so we both can use the same company

THINGS TO KNOW:

*You can pre-pay in advance online. All info is available at www.socalthemeparks.com under the ‘getting around’ tab.

*They don’t take cash if you’re paying the day of.

*Reservations are required for arrivals. Check website or call for details.

*The bus stops at all airport terminals which adds to the travel time into Anaheim. Allow 2-3 hours total for LAX and 1-2 hours for SNA.

*operated by Greyhound

TIPS N’ TRICKS:

*The bus makes 17 stops. Take a look at the order of stops on the bus schedule and see what’s near the earlier stops on the route. Chances are, your hotel is a very short walk from the earlier stops and it will save you time sitting on the bus.

WALKING:

Sure, I’m a New Yorker, and walking isn’t the end of the world for me. But you don’t have to be a New Yorker to get through a day of walking. The idea of walking from your hotel to the park or the hotel to a restaurant sounds terrible, right? Before you hail a cab or rent a car, let’s put it in perspective: You’re going to walk a LOT in one day at Disneyland. It won’t feel like it, because walking from Fantasyland to Critter Country is FUN, but you will in fact do a lot of walking. Added walks to get to the theme park in the morning isn’t adding too much to your trip.

The great thing about the Disneyland Resort, is that everything around it is centrally located. My hotel, convention center and Disneyland are less than a mile walk from each other.

WALKING GAME PLAN:

Try to get a hotel near the resort. You don’t necessarily have to splurge on a resort property. I’m staying at Motel 6 Disney Maingate. It’s less than a mile from the front gate of Disneyland. Very doable walking-wise. It’s also less than a mile to the convention center where I’ll be going for D23. To top it off, if I don’t want to walk from the hotel to Downtown Disney for dinner, I’m a quick walk to Anaheim Garden Walk, where I have a ton of restaurant options. All without having a car!

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SOCIALIZING:

The minute my California friends found out I was visiting, everyone tried to start setting plans. Here’s the hard part: When you don’t have a car, it gets pricey to travel out to different locations to see different people. In the essence of time, you could spend an entire day travelling out to a different city to see people.

Here’s how I’m making my life easier: I’m picking ONE location and a specific date/time I’ll be there. Whoever can make it to see me, awesome. If you can’t, it’s no biggie. My central location I’m considering is Trader Sam’s. The newest bar at the Disneyland Resort.

Trader-Sams

It’s a fun environment and you don’t have to be a guest to enjoy it. When you plan things this way, people are travelling to come to you. By holding the meetup in a bar, it makes it casual so that it doesn’t feel like a party centered around you. Keeping it casual is key. AND it’s walking distance from my hotel!

Thanks for following my travel adventures as I plan out the week! Tomorrow I’ll jump into which hotels I’m staying at and which features I’m excited about. Have a great week!

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